Seeking the coolth? Museums always offer a chill local getaway

Like we said, museums typically keep it a constant low-humidity 72 degrees inside to protect delicate art and historical objects.

That makes museum the perfect afternoon’s chill getaway in the stifling midsummer heat. And even if you’ve lived in Austin for a while, it’s good to re-visit familiar places. (Hint: Museums change it up way more often than you think.)

Our interactive map and guide to Austin many museums is here: http://www.austin360.com/interactive/art-culture-museums

And here’s few top picks to get you started:

  • Just in case you haven’t noticed, it’s a presidential election year. Seems like a good time to head to the LBJ Presidential Library and Museum to brush up on a little history, no?  For example, did you remember that it was 52 years ago this month — on July 2, 1964 — President Lyndon B. Johnson signed the Civil Rights Act?
President Lyndon B. Johnson signing the 1964 Civil Rights Act.
President Lyndon B. Johnson signing the 1964 Civil Rights Act.
  • At the Bullock Texas State History Museum, “Our Global Kitchen: Food, Nature, Culture”  is a multi-media exhibit organized by the American Museum of Natural History that explores the historical, cultural and scientific intersection of humans and food.
From the exhibit "Our Global Kitchen" at the Bulllock Museum.
From the exhibit “Our Global Kitchen” at the Bulllock Museum.
  • This summer Blanton Museum of Art pairs a stunning (and important) exhibit of Spanish master Francisco de Goya, Goya: Mad Reason, with an monumental yet ethereal installation, Book from the Sky, by Chinese artist Xu Bing.
Xu Bing's "Book from the Sky"
Xu Bing’s “Book from the Sky”

 

 

Choose your own interactive tour of Austin’s arts scene

We know. There’s lots to do in Austin. And whether you’re new to town or have been here for years, Austin’s ever-exploding arts scene can sometimes overwhelm.

Not to worry. We’ve got it all laid out for you to peruse with several interactive, easy-to-use map guides that will get you out and seeing things.

 

Print Austin fest at the Canopy arts complex
Print Austin fest at the Canopy arts complex in East Austin

 

 

 

Austin Critics’ Table announces 2015-2016 award nominations

And they’re in: The Austin Critics’ Table today announces the nominations for its 2015-2016 arts awards.

Now in its 24th year, the Critics’ Table in an informal group of arts writers from the American-Statesman and the Austin Chronicle who annually recognize achievement in the arts.

The free awards ceremony is at 7 p.m. May 23 at Cap City Comedy Club.

Also being honored this year as new inductees to the Austin Arts Hall of Fame are Austin Symphony Orchestra music director Peter Bay, Ballet Austin executive director Cookie Ruiz and Ballet Austin artistic director Stephen Mills.

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Jade Walker’s “Four Cornered.”

ART

"99 White Balloons," by Invivia, part of "Field Constructs"
“99 White Balloons,” by Invivia, part of “Field Constructs
  • Independent or Public Project
    “Field Constructs Design Competition,” Rachel Adams, Catherine Gavin, and Igor Siddiqui.
    “Omission,” Juan Deleon, TEMPO/AIPP
    “Las Piñatas,” David A. Goujon, TEMPO/AIPP
    “Sew Wasted,” Los Outsiders
    “Sound Atlas,” Steve Parker, Drawing Lines
  • Gallery Body of Work
    Camiba Gallery
    Grayduck Gallery
    MASS Gallery
    Pump Project Gallery
    Wally Workman Gallery

DANCE

KDH Dance Company's "True Stories." Photo by Stephen Pruitt.
KDH Dance Company’s “True Stories.” Photo by Stephen Pruitt.
  • Short work
    “Desire” from Director’s Choice, Ballet Austin
    “Motherwell Amor,” Erick Hawkins Dance Co./Shay Ishii Dance Co.
    “A Part,” Rosalyn Nasky (Chaddick Dance Theater)
    “Stream,” Ballet Austin (Director’s Choice)
    “Early That Summer,” Ballet Austin (Director’s Choice)
    “Echoes of Veiled Light,” Ballet East
  • Choreographer
    Collective choreography by Charles O. Anderson, Lisa Nicks, Kate Warren and Kathy Dunn Hamrick, More Than One Complication
    Kathy Dunn Hamrick, True Story
    Sally Jacques, Edge of Grace
    Andrea Ariel, “Echoes of Veiled Light”
    Acia Gray, In Your Shoes
Aare Krumpe and Paul Bloodgood in Stephen Mills' "Desire." Photo by Anne Bloodgood.
Aare Krumpe and Paul Bloodgood in Stephen Mills’ “Desire.” Photo by Anne Bloodgood.
  • Duet
    Paul Michael Bloodgood & Aara Krumpe, “Desire”
    Nathan Brumbaugh & Lisa Del Rosario, “Echoes of Veiled Light”
    Matt Shields & Tony Merriwether, Sophisticated Ladies

THEATER

Jacques Colimon as Jaybo Freeman and Jennifer Underwood as Eller Freeman in "Terminus"
Jacques Colimon as Jaybo Freeman and Jennifer Underwood as Eller Freeman in “Terminus”
"The Wild Party," UT Dept. of Theatre
“The Wild Party,” UT Dept. of Theatre
  • Ensemble Performance
    “Mr. Burns, a post-electric play,” Mary Moody Northen Theatre
    “The Wild Party,” UT Austin Department of Theatre and Dance
    “The Diary of Anne Frank,” UT Department of Theatre and Dance
    “The Dumb Waiter,” Capital T Theatre
    “Topdog/Underdog,” Viceroys
    “The Tree Play,” Robi Polgar
    “Tortoise & Hare,” Summer Stock Austin
 "Mr. Burns, a post-electric play." Photo by Brett Brookshire.
“Mr. Burns, a post-electric play.” Photo by Brett Brookshire.
  • David Mark Cohen New Play Award
    Tender Rough Rough Tender,” Sarah Saltwick
    Fixing Timon of Athens,” Kirk Lynn
    “The Tree Play,” Robi Polgar
    “Hands Up Hoodies Down,” Zell Miller III
    “Hunger,” Ebony Stewart
    Tortoise & Hare,” Allen Robertson & Damon Brown
  • Costume Design
    Talena Martinez, “Marie Antoinette”
    Curtis Uhlemann and Bobby Moffett, “The Warriors”
    Mercedes O’Bannion, “Mast/The Government Inspector”
    Kelsey Vidic, “The Diary of Anne Frank”
    E. L. Hohn, “The Wild Party”
    Jenny McNee & Jennifer Rose Davis, “The History of King Lear”
    Court Watson, “Evita”
"Dancestry," Shay Ishii Dance Company
“Dancestry,” Shay Ishii Dance Company
  • Lighting Design
    Patrick Anthony, “Year of the Rooster“/“Hunger“/“Terminus/”Medea”/”Marie Antoinette”
    Stephen Pruitt, “In Your Shoes”/”Frankenstein: The Trouble Puppet Show”/”True Story”/”Lumen”
    Megan Slayter, “Dancestry”
    Jennifer Rogers, “The Tree Play”
    Po-Yang Sung, “The Diary of Anne Frank”
    Michelle Habeck, “Sophisticated Ladies”
    Sarah Maines, “Mr. Burns, a post-electric play”
  • Sound Design
    Robert S. Fisher, “Gusev/The Night Alive/The Realistic Joneses”
    K. Eliot Haynes, “Frankenstein: The Trouble Puppet Show/Mr. Burns, a post-electric play”
    William Meadows, “Edge of Grace”
    Lowell Bartholomee, “The Tree Play/Year of the Rooster”
    Ben Campbell, “The Diary of Anne Frank”
    Craig Brock, “Evita”
  • Video Design
    Lowell Bartolomee, “When the Rain Stops Falling”
    Eliot Gray Fisher, “The Warriors”
    Jared LeClaire, “The Wild Party”
    Julia Smith, “Gusev”
    Matt Smith, “The Diary of Anne Frank”

CLASSICAL MUSIC

  • Singer
    Donnie Ray Albert, Aida
    Tuija Knihtilä, Aida
    Chan Yang Lim, At the Statue of Venus
    Lior, Compassion
    Eric Neuville, The Poet Sings: Emily Dickinson
    Issachar Savage, Aida
    Karen Slack, Aida
    Julia Taylor, Three Decembers
    Sonja DuToit Tengblad, The Poet Sings: Emily Dickinson
  • Chamber Performance
    Anton Nel & Bion Tsang, Butler School of Music
    Medieval Pilgrimage in Iberia, Texas Early Music Project
    The Late Show, Austin Chamber Music Center
    Pléiades, line upon line percussion
    The Poet Sings: Emily Dickinson, Conspirare
    Start the New Year With Bach, La Follia
    Traffic Jam, Steve Parker
  • Instrumentalist
    Catherine Davis, Illusory Impressions
    Jessica Mathaes, Compassion
    Anton Nel, Anton Nel & Bion Tsang
    Stephen Redfield, Start the New Year With Bach
    Michelle Schumann, The Poet Sings: Emily Dickinson/In the Face of Trouble
    Bion Tsang, Anton Nel & Bion Tsang
    Keith Womer, Start the New Year With Bach, La Follia

In a new exhibit in Austin, the history of photography clicks forward

Among the more than 5 million items in its renowned photo collection, the University of Texas’ Ransom Center claims the world’s first photograph (made in 1826 or 1827) and keeps it on permanent display.

The center is particularly rich with photographs from 19th-century including the work Victorian pioneers such as Lewis Carroll and Julia Margaret Cameron.

Lewis Carroll (Charles Lutwidge Dodgson). Alice Liddell and her two sisters. Albumen print, c. 1859. Harry Ransom Center.
Lewis Carroll (Charles Lutwidge Dodgson). Alice Liddell and her two sisters. Albumen print, c. 1859. Harry Ransom Center.

Thankfully the Ransom Center isn’t resting on its laurels.

In a new exhibit opening today, the research archive unveils some of its especially important recent acquisitions of contemporary innovators whose experiments with photographic process push the medium forward.

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Penelope Umbrico (American, b. 1957), Moving Mountains #108, from the series Range, 2015. Color inkjet print, 8 x 8 in. Harry Ransom Center Collection, purchased with funds provided by the Charles and Elizabeth Prothro Endowment in Photography © Penelope Umbrico

Starting today and continuing through May 29, nearly 200 photographs go on display for the first time in Look Inside: New Photography Acquisitions.

Photography curator Jessica S. McDonald has done a very admiral job of adding photographs to the collection that continue the story of what could be considered a very democratic art form.

McDonald unveils work made during particularly vibrant periods in the medium’s artistic evolution, such as the American “photo boom” of the 1960s and 1970s during which artist like Betty Hahn who shook up the formalities of the medium.

Betty Hahn (American, b. 1940), Starry Night Variation #2, from the series Who Was that Masked Man? I Wanted to Thank Him, 1977. Screenprint, 22 x 18 in. Harry Ransom Center Collection, purchased with funds provided by the Charles and Elizabeth Prothro Endowment in Photography © Betty Hahn Courtesy of Harry Ransom Center.
Betty Hahn (American, b. 1940), Starry Night Variation #2, from the series Who Was that Masked Man? I Wanted to Thank Him, 1977. Screenprint, 22 x 18 in. Harry Ransom Center Collection, purchased with funds provided by the Charles and Elizabeth Prothro Endowment in Photography © Betty Hahn

Also now a part of the Ransom Center’s story of the history of photography are images by current artists like Alejandro Cartagena who offer a vision that is decidedly contemporary.

Alejandro Cartagena (Mexican, b. Dominican Republic, 1977), Carpoolers 49, 2011–2012. Color inkjet print, 22 x 14 1/4 in. Harry Ransom Center Collection, purchased with funds provided by the David Douglas Duncan Endowment for Photojournalism © Alejandro Cartagena
Alejandro Cartagena (Mexican, b. Dominican Republic, 1977), Carpoolers 49, 2011–2012. Color inkjet print, 22 x 14 1/4 in. Harry Ransom Center Collection, purchased with funds provided by the David Douglas Duncan Endowment for Photojournalism © Alejandro Cartagena

Admission to the Ransom Center is free and it’s open every day of the week.

Gallery hours are 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Mondays-Fridays (Thursdays until 7 p.m.), noon to 5 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays. Harry Ransom Center, 300 W. 21st St. hrc.utexas.edu

Austin composer Graham Reynolds nets $95,000 Creative Capital award

A chamber opera by Austin alt classical composer Graham Reynolds is one of 46 projects nation-wide that have been awarded a coveted Creative Capital Awards.

Graham Reynolds
Graham Reynolds

The awards give artists $50,000 in funding for a specific project as well as $45,000 worth of career development services provided by Creative Capital, an organization whose arts philanthropy is inspired by venture principals.

Reynolds won support for “Pancho Villa From a Safe Distance,” an experimental chamber opera.

Winners were selected from a pool of 2,500  established and emerging artists.

Reynolds performs this Saturday, premiering his latest piece “In the Face of Trouble,” a four-part piece for solo piano and live processing that riffs off of Beethoven’s Sonata for Piano in E Major.

Noted pianist Michelle Schumann will perform the Beethoven Sonata followed by Reynold’s piece which he wrote just for here.  Details here.

Michelle Schumann
Michelle Schumann